Chester is our 7 year old Saint Bernard/Collie mix. He’s a gorgeous dog with adorable brown freckles around his nose. We adopted Chester from Project Pooch – one of my all-time favorite organizations. Project Pooch takes dogs that have been abandoned and abused and matches them with boys in a correctional institution here in Oregon. The boys work to rehabilitate the dogs to ready them for adoption, while the dogs rehabilitate the boys as they prepare to enter back into society. Just telling you this gives me goosebumps because it’s such an amazingly powerful and successful program.
Chester came into our home after a brief stint with a family that didn’t work out. He was too skittish around their younger children. At the time, our kids were pre-teens and teens so we thought we’d be OK. We had an old, rescued Dalmatian (Hoover) at the time, too.
While Chester is the most adoring, faithful dog that you could ever imagine, he has issues. Lots of them. When he first came home, you couldn’t step over him without him leaping up and showing signs of aggression. He was nervous if we raised our arms. And, he quickly became very protective of our family.
The good news is that he’s the biggest cuddle dog you could ever imagine… at least with our family members. He’s also fine when at the dog park or even when he goes to the vet. But, at home, he becomes the guardian and will not let anyone get near us. This means keeping him in another room when we have visitors. He doesn’t like this too much either. In fact, he totally destroyed a couch recently as “punishment” to us – from tearing off the fabric to ripping apart the foam that made up the back and arms of the couch. Yikes.
Have you had experiences with your adopted or rescued dog or cat that are a result of their mysterious pasts? How did you resolve any issues or overcome any challenges? Do tell!